Tag Archives: learning

Old & Effective

We humans do like to overcomplicate things.

In my experience it’s because of these reasons:

– Complexity carries the idea of it being ‘better’
– It provides the perfect excuse to fail

Sometimes stripping things back to a simple form can yield far more results than people would like.

Yes, getting better results in whatever goal isn’t what everyone wants.

Many like pretending, playing at training all so that they can gain some desired attention and also any pandering they need.

If this is you, fair enough.

However if you’re someone who wants to move forwards physically, mentally and in life then wha tis written below will take away the stress of deciding upon a training protocol.

This works for the larger majority of people.

While it’s not perfect, because nothing ever is, the key point is this – it works provided you do.

The Protocol – Heavy Set & Back Off

Work to a heavy set of the following:

Weeks 1-3: 10 reps
Weeks 4-6: 8 reps
Weeks 7-9: 6 reps

Take 80% of the top weight for the day, hit these back-off rep numbers in as few sets as possible:

Weeks 1-3: 50 reps
Weeks 4-6: 40 reps
Weeks 7-9: 30 reps

Perform this on one or two main lifts for the day.

For accessory work your aim for all weeks is as follows:

– 50 reps total in 3 sets or less.

Here is an example day:

A1 – RDL x10 > Back Off – 80% x50 total reps
B1 – Bent Over Row x50 reps
C1 – Curl x50 reps

The goal for each week of the three week wave is to either repeat the same numbers with top set being easier and the back ff reps taking less sets (or less rest, etc).

Over time you may choose to change the top set rep choice and the amount of back off reps, that’s cool because the overall ethos of the protocol is this –

Work to a heavy set, then take weight of and do reps.

Simple, effective, brilliant.


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Musings on Marketing

When looking at various fitness/training adds that come up there are two questions that tend to pop up in the old noggin.

1 – What’s it all about?
2 – What’s the point of it?

A lot of trainers hungry for business may end up posting what they think is eye-catching and brilliant, yet don’t think about the two questions above.

Often there is little rhyme or reason to what they’ve shared.

There is no purpose, no problem addressed, solution offered or emotions invoked.

While they might get some likes these don’t equate to business.

Three further questions to ask when you see the above:

3 – Why is this problem relevant to me?
4 – How will their solution be a benefit?
5 – What feelings/experience with investing in this provide?

Often there is not story either.

People love a story, that is if you’re marketing strategy is more than a single shot in the dark hoping to hit something (which ideally it wants to be).

Setting up several marking posts/adverts etc, that all link together to create a story can be very useful.

While you’d touch on what the benefits & emotional rewards are in each, you’d not go for the business until the last post.

Asking for the business is crucial, there’s no denying that.

Yet you need to have a reason to ask, otherwise you’ll only ever hear a resounding no when you do.

Tow more questions to ask:

6 – Why is this (product/offer) worth investing in?
7 – Who is the person this is has been created for?

Money is valuable to people, and while they’ll easily part wit it because buying things make people feel good – remember that.

Knowing the feeling they want from buying something is crucial.

An investment is only as good as the emotion it provokes.

This means getting to know who it is aimed at.

What does this person value, how do they perceive what is being offered and why.

Guessing or thinking you know is not wise, ask and be sure.

Finally there are three more points to complete the set:

8 – Would you pay twice what’s being charged?
9- Why is the product worth more than is being charged?
10 – What do you spend money on (training wise) & why?

It may seem odd to ask about paying twice what is being charged, however when people make comments like that it’s very telling because it means they perceived the product at such a high value it’s almost impossible to say no.

Everyone loves a bargain.

Lastly it’s worth looking at your own spending habits.

Trainers are notorious for wanting people to pay them all the money to train and yet they won’t hire someone themselves because they feel they know better and can train themselves.

Think of it this way, if you think you know better and can’t be convinced otherwise, chances are the people your trying to recruit as new clients feel the same way too.

You can run these across your own adverts/marketing and that of other trainers, see who has answers to them all and who doesn’t.

Then see which one is more successful (it’ll probably be the one that addresses all or the majority of the questions).


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Message Consistency

Fellow trainers, do you share a consistent message?

In fact do you even have a message you’re trying to share in the first place because you’d be surprised how many are out there without one.

They just start work as a PT and hope for the best.

(How will your message benefit people?)

Being consistent isn’t just repeating the same thing though.

– Leading by example
– Ongoing self development
– Research in your niche field
– Expanding the ‘why’

These are key element to consider.

When you lead by example to me this means you don’t simply command what people do, you live by those rules as well, and apply them in your daily life.

Developing is a part of life, while most people will grow they don’t always grow in positive ways.

It’s worth setting a goal or two for yourself each year surrounding this because that is what will help you in delivering a higher overall standard/experience to your clients.

Going down every nook & cranny can seem laborious.

Often we only want to look up the things we want to find, a good little tip is to type in a search for something you already believe to be true and finish it with one of these:

– is bullshit
– often has this forgotten
– doesn’t work because

Trying to find the cracks in your own plot armour will serve you well and make you a far better trainer than always confirming your bias.

Lastly knowing your ‘why’ is one thing, being able to explain it to other people is something else entirely.

Get a hold of the book ‘Start with Why’ by Simon Sinek.

Gie some deep thought to the above.

Share a good, useful & true message consistently.


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Emotional Roots

Defining the problem is easy (in fitness).
Example – being overweight due to excess body fat.
Defining exactly WHY that is the problem is harder.
Admitting these feelings can cut deep.
While it will be hard, once they’re known and out in the open it often increases the persons chance of success.
Understanding the emotional tether is crucial.
Given emotions tend to drive everything that we do, seeking to learn/understand their role in fitness & training is essential.
Believe it or not some people don’t care about having excess body fat, even in abundance due to not having nay emotions attached to it.
Others are not so lucky and as such it can bring them down.
Writing out answers to these three questions can help:
– Why do I feel XYZ because of ABC?
– How will I feel once I address ABC?
– What benefits will this bring to my life & how will that make me feel?
In these modern days of self-confidence shaming it can be hard to admit you want to make yourself physically superior when compared to your current state.
Simply due to how it makes other people feel.
I have news for you, that’s not your problem.
If you making yourself happy for your own personal reasons upset someone else than that’s their issue and not yours.
These days it’s easier for people to lower the bar and swim in the excuses than it is to consciously tackle them.
Don’t let people make you feel bad for feeling good.
You don’t need that negativity in your life, cut those people out because they’re often the ones holding you down.
Take some time to address why it is you wish to change physically on an emotional level.
What will it do for you, why & how will you use this info?
Give it some thought.

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Problems & Solutions

The solution can often be found in the problem.

Odd as that might sound it’s actually very accurate.

Here is an example:

“I really struggle to lose weight because I eat too much.”

So the solution is the problem, address the reason(s) behind the behaviours/emotions that lead said persons to eating too much.

It’s honesty not rocket science.

A lot of people already know their problem, intrinsically so.

Use this information, this experience of theirs and you’ll be able to breakdown the underlying reasons why it happens and the steps/actions needed to create the solution will present themselves.

Another example:

“I can’t gain muscle, no matter how hard I train or how much I eat.”

Solution = address training and caloric intake.

Once you sit down with people and truly breakdown what is going on and show them, in simply easy to understand terms that are on their level of understanding (no technobabble), they suddenly ‘get it’.

Understand they’re frustrated.

In their minds they’re doing everything right, yet it’s still not working.

As a trainer/coach you immediately know they’re not doing everything right, however you don’t tell them this directly unless they’re the kind of person that can take it, and those are very very rare, even those that say they want it straight don’t really mean that.

No one likes being told they’ve been doing it wrong.

Many end up thinking – “F**K it, I’ve been wasting my time, I might as well go eat 9 pints of Ben & Jerry’s.”

We wish to avoid this.

To do so you take the solution from their problem and then break it down into easy to understand parts for them.

Maybe a three stage approach like this:

Act 1 – Acknowledge problem & solution in the problem
Act 2 – Offer strategies to achieve solution & apply them*
Act 3 – Explain their Pay Off for all their work (emotionally)

*Make them aware this part takes a long time.

Take some time to look at the way people talk.

You’ll soon see all of their problems contain their solution.


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Which PT Path to Walk

Funny how there are a lot of ‘specialists’ around these days.

At least in the fitness industry that is 🧐

That being said, most that claim this are generalists at best.

While there is nothing wrong with that, the path to truly having a defend area that you’re the only one truly capable to perform well in requires a lot of investment.

– CPD Courses
– Time given for free to gain experience
– Diligent & Deliberate practice

Plus a lot of other elements that involve getting your head down and gaining a set of very sharp skills 🎯

Having more skills, or a higher level of Mastery over one skill will always provide added value to your business.

You may ask – Why both with it at all then?

Think of the earning potential between says General Surgeon & a Specialist 💷

Both have put in a lot of time into their education and deserve the highest respect, however that won’t be reflected in their earning potential because the specialist may be only one of perhaps 6 people in the country who can do what they do, and well.

😎 Wouldn’t you like to be one of the 6?

Where as there is far more chance of there being 6 General Surgeons in one local area.

The same is true for PT’s.

A lot think they’re a specialist, and they’re not.

Simply saying you are doesn’t make it a reality, even though new people to fitness won’t know the difference, everyone else will and that can have you rife with ‘imposter syndrome’ 👤

In a gym these days you’ll find perhaps 17 fat loss experts, 14 S&C coaches, 20 class instructors and maybe 1 GP Referral Specialist who focuses on Injury/Rehab specifically for Knee or Shoulder Pain.

Essentially you can be one of these two:

��1 – The Generalist (novel)
2 – The Specialist (necessary)

The latter often has the capability to earn more by charing a premium because they’re the only person who does what they do.

They have a niche in which they’re top dog🥇

Don’t get me wrong, you can still earn well as a generalist too, you’ve just got to make sure you keep people entertained because of this –

You’re a novelty and not a necessity.

Give some thought to the above, which do you want to be?

Not simply by claim either, with proof of success so that there is no doubt in peoples minds that you’re the ‘go to’ person for that ONE THING (& all off shoots close to it).


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Which Path to Take

Life has many worthy goals.
An axiom that has been personally long held is this:
Aim to achieve Mastery not Mediocrity.
While easy one paper, the ket problem is as follows – you can’t master everything.
At least not all at once.
This is where many perusal trainers struggle.
Oh yes, this is a post for PT’s, although the wisdom can also transfer to all life and anyone who takes the time to read my waffle.
Knowing the above comes from making the mistake of trying to master multiple things at once.
It failed, and also succeeded, yet knowing why escaped me.
Until it didn’t.
The reason for failure in multifaceted learning (be that training or academia related) was because of this simple reason – the subjects/goals were TOO DIFFERENT.
As such the successes were on the opposite side of that coin – the subjects/goals were THE SAME YET DIFFERENT.
Essentially mastering one quality and along with say 4-5 others didn’t happen because of some inhuman mastery of the elements, it came from those things being all relatively similar in their requirements.
This means that improving one to a large degree also improved the others.
For gamer nerds think along the lines of a stat boots that bring up one specific area by 8 points, and ones directly linked to/affected by it by 2 points.
Take a look at multi-sport athletes.
While all the events make indeed have very different fine motor-skills to learn, the base level of physical needs for each of them is very similar, if not the same.
This is what allows mastery of multiple things.
You see you’re mastering ONE THING and because of that any off shoots that are still close enough to the central focus will also be great strings to add to your bow.
The issue for people comes in when trying to master things that are diametrically opposed.
Example: Achieve –
Elite Level Power Lifter Total of 2600lbs
Run a Marathon in Sub 2 Hours
While not really impossible to achieve at separate times in life, it’s highly improbably.
Also, to achieve both simultaneously would require a truly genetic anomaly.
So dear trainers the take home message is this:
Make it narrow, focused and master it fully.
You’ll have plenty of things close enough to add in that won’t detract, and you’d do well to remember this from a business standpoint as well.
All you business ideas want to link together.
If you wish to have something completely different then you may need someone else to implement that side of your business as it will usually be too far outside of your realm of mastery to do well.
Please keep the above in mind.
For not doing so will have you be the same are most PT’s out there – mediocre.
After all, it’s better to be known for being the best at one thing that is for being terrible at many things.

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Outcome Improvement

Meetings, consultations, reviews & all other similar things.
A lot will voice how much they dislike them.
It’s not actually uncommon for people to not really mean that because it’s a chance to sit, have a chat and not really do anything productive.
Usually because this one simple truth above the above is forgotten:
Meetings are for outcomes 🧠
For those in the world of fitness try and see it this way.
What is the purpose of a consultation for you?
To get a desired outcome.
Be this in the form of business, or data that will help in programming for the client.
However you see it there needs to be a defined outcome.
Too many leave meetings etc with a lot of ambiguity.
This means they can create the perfect excuses for why something didn’t happen, essentially getting them off the hook.
It’s why so many suck at business, life too.
They go into things not really knowing what they want, or if they do know what they want they won’t state it, then go and complain things didn’t go a good way.
This simple list of point needs to be filled in before attending any of the above:
– Why am I/they here?
– How will this be a benefit to me/them?
– What is the desired outcome for me/them?
– When finished these are my/their first steps to acton.
Without addressing these you’re not going to be productive, you’re simply having a chat with someone.
Aim for a Win-Win outcome for both parties involved.
Don’t be afraid to stay what it is you’re after, and always know what your minimum level of outcome desired is because there may need to be some wiggle room.

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Chin Up, Dearie

Feeling bad about oneself is common.
Looking back at old photos, videos or times when you were in your prime can be quite disheartening.
A level cognitive dissonance will kick in so that you’re able to convince yourself things aren’t that bad.
Reading the above, if you’re sat and think ‘that sounds familiar’ then you may be in this nefarious place:
Avoidance of reality 🙈
To men it comes in the form of “I’m not that bad, but…XYZ”
Ladies typically say “I would do X, but I don’t have Z because of Y”
In truth it can be hard to admit when we’ve let ourselves slip because there will be no getting around feeling a little bit shit.
You may also find that other people make you feel this way too, not even because they’re trying to directly, it’s more because you take umbrage with the way they’ve said something 😡
Usually your response will be along the lines of – “Yea but you don’t understand X because you don’t have YZ.”
Which may be true, however this is often just layering excuses.
I’ve done it in the past plenty of times 🤷‍♀️
It still happens now, more often than it ought to in all truth.
This is fully understandable though because we want to protect ourselves, or at least our ego.
Given most of what ends in these posts tends to be a combination of fitness, philosophy & psychology it’d be easy to think that ‘real life’ and the trouble of people escapes understanding.
A fair view to have, however it’s highly flawed.
You see most PT’s work with the ‘average’ person.
You know the kind, out of shape, has a family, works long hours, drinks little too much, comfort eats, pretends to be fine and uses food/alcohol as a crutch/shield with a devil may care attitude towards it all to hide how they really feel.
One sad lesson learned from fitness is that for making better choices for ones health and longevity it make tother people feel bad and as such they will attack/shame you for it.
“You’re boring.”
“You don’t get it, it’s easy for you.”
“It’s not that easy because…”
“Clearly you’ve got good genetics.”
“Life must be earlier of you because of…”
Being around a long as I have personally there isn;t much I’ve not heard, and do you know what, it’s all true and 100% valid.
In knowing this though, that all the troubles, excuses and hardships are valid, you must also accept that there are literally millions of people across the world with similar or worse that still put in a solid effort that’d come under-fire from the fit-shaming above.
The desire of most who work in fitness is this: to help you.
Trust me it’s certainly not for the money 😂
Yet we can’t help you unless you’re willing to help yourself, and the sad truth is most people aren’t wiling to do that because they don’t have any immediate reason to do so.
It’ll take a health scare, accident or unfortunate diagnosis.
Something extreme, horrible potentially, before many will act and try to make a positive change and stop feeling sorry for themselves.
Ask yourself this question:
🧠 – Why would I not want to be better than my excuses?
Then this one:
🧠 – Whom do I care about enough to better my heath for?
🧠 – What am I prepared to do to become better moving forwards?
A lot of this will end up being routed in behaviour change, as well as learning to prioritise specific things in you life differently, or even what those might be.
In fact try writing down the 5 most important things in your life, and why they are important.
Look at them and think deeply about how improving your health/fitness will also improve those too.
If by change it won’t, cool, bin all of the above off an live as you are, honestly it’s all up to you in regards to the life you want to live and the quality of it.
All of the above being said, if you do feel bad about yourself then realise the only one who can change that is you.

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To be known.

What are you known for?

In all businesses being known for ming one thing really really well, often yields more than being known for doing lost of things poorly.

This doesn’t mean you won’t offer multiple options/services.

It simply means that you’ll be top of the pile for doing one thing specifically very well because that’s how you can create an excellent service that will create repeat business.

Usually it gets linked to your ability to also offer an unforgettable experience as well.

People may come initially for the service, yet they will stay for the experience.

Also producing the results you promised helps too.

Like it or not one thing that truly matters in business to this world is results because without those you’ll struggle to grow a base of true fans and consistent clients.

Here are three questions for you to ask yourself to help you establish what you’re wanting to be known for:

– When people think of you, what do you want their first throughs to be?
– Why do you want that to be their first thought?
– How will this benefit your business?

Asking your clients these three questions can help you narrow down what it is people know you for, then compare it to your own answers and see how close/far to the mark they are:

– Ask people to tell you the one thing they know you for
– Ask why that is the first/one thing that came to mind
– Ask for their opinion/feedback on how to market this thing

You’ll be amazed at how revealing this can be.

From here you’ve then got two choices:

1 – Master one thing & delivering unforgettable experiences
2 – Maintain mediocrity across a lot of things

Both are viable for business.

One gains you very niche & loyal clients, the other needs a revolving door approach and constant effort to keep peoples attention less you be forgotten.

Whichever if for you will work provided that you do.

Nothing comes for free in this life.

Pay your dues and you’ll eventually get a return on your investment, eventually.


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